FLC News

Lab Spotlight: Pacific Northwest Research Station - Laser Scanning

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Airborne laser scanning (LiDAR) data can be processed to yield detailed information about forest structure, wood volume, fire risk, levels of carbon sequestration, and more. This synthetic image shows the distribution of laser returns colored by height. Objects near or on the ground are depicted with dark blue tones, while those near the tops of trees have warmer colors.

In a novel application, a Forest Service scientist used LiDAR data to evaluate a site index in the Oregon Coast Range. The rugged topography and dense tree canopies required adjustments to typical LiDAR acquisition settings; prior to these adjustments, tree heights were often being underestimated, which led to errors when calculating wood volume and biomass.

(Photo: Demetrios Gatziolis)

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